I have a rule for doing watercolours: they must not take longer than around twenty minutes to complete. I sketch in the rough outlines in pencil or pen and then swoosh in the colour.
I used to be fussy about colour; I am not fussy any more, in fact I start with a mucky palette and dirty water so that there is some pigment in the system already.
The painting itself takes over; I merge myself with the subject of the painting, become the landscape or the buildings and so on and then let what appears on the page bcome the object of the exercise.
My original model was the Japanese sumi-e style of painting which seems to me to be the equivalent of writing haiku but I think I’ve moved away from the guiding principles of the style.
However, my rule is that a watercolour painting does itself in a very short space of time, not unlike the way a haiku is constructed.
Since discovering Scotland not all that many years ago, my summer treks by motorbike more often than not take me that way. What I did not know when I stayed in the B&B in Ballantrae in 2009 from whose landing this was done was that heavy transport uses the road outside all night. It was a very disturbed night.
Three paintings which were done during a long European organised tour in the late 1990’s.
Kettlewell, in Yorkshire, was a place dear to the heart of an adolescent girl-friend; we fantasised that we would live there together eventually but it was a very disturbing relationship which I’ve found it difficult to get out of my system. It pleased me to spend a night in a B&B there in 2007; I wonder if she ever slept there…